In a written testimony published in a Reuters article, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg oppose stricter rules for content moderation. Today it is set out in Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act and could soon be changed by the implementation of the Act to Protect Americans from Dangerous Algorithms.
If this law is passed, social networks will be held responsible for the content shared on their platforms and will be forced to moderate certain topics. Such is the case for those associated with terrorism. This approach contradicts the American vision of freedom of expression, in which anyone can freely speak what they want, even if they are discriminatory, such as anti-Semitic words.
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“I strongly recommend that the committee be very attentive”
Jack Dorsey sees this change in the law as a strengthening of the American digital oligopoly and calls for “reflection and restraint when it comes to general regulatory solutions for dealing with problems with the moderation of content. Radical regulations can strengthen the position of companies with large market shares. “
Mark Zuckerberg, who finds himself in a delicate position as the CEO of Twitter, especially because of the risk of a split between Instagram and Facebook, is rather inconspicuous: “Article 230 allowed the creation of all major Internet services companies. Congress should update the law to make sure it works as intended. We support the industry transparency and collaboration ideas that are being discussed in some of the current two-part proposals. “
The situation is more difficult with Alphabet, with its Google search engine. The main goal, even more so than with social networks, is the transmission of information. “I strongly encourage the committee to be very attentive to changes in Section 230 and to be aware of the consequences these changes could have for businesses and consumers.”
Federal Communications Commission director Ajit Pai has not yet provided many details on the future of Section 230: “We’re not talking about introducing social media regulations. We’re talking about interpreting an immunity clause, ”he explains. He made it clear, however, that he felt no pressure from the White House, a positive story when Donald Trump was recently targeted by Twitter moderators.
There are no major debates on the political side. Indeed, Republicans and Democrats have shared common concerns about the failed or successful moderation from Twitter, Google, Facebook, or Instagram. The case must be followed up at the end of the Senate Committee, which will take place today, October 28, 2020.